What We Do When We Do Church – Amen and Amen!

Matthew 6:9-13

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation,     but deliver us from evil.

Luke 11:2-4

“Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.”

What we call today “The Lord’s Prayer” is found in these two places in the Scriptures. The next couple of devotions are based on a section of the book Listening to the Language of the Bible: Hearing it Through Jesus’ Ears, by Lois Tverberg with Bruce Okkema.

The previous devotions in this series are:

Part 1 – Hymnody
Part 2 – Invocation
Part 3 – Baptism
Part 4 – Confession of Sins
Part 5 – Absolution
Part 6 – Introit / Psalmody
Part 7 – Kyrie
Part 8 – Hymn of Praise
Part 9 – Scripture Readings
Part 10 – Sermon
Part 11 – Confession of Faith
Part 12 – Offering
Part 13 – Offertory
Part 14 – Prayer
Part 15 – “Our Father”
Part 16 – “Hallowed Be Thy Name”
Part 17 – “Thy Kingdom Come”
Part 18 – “Daily Bread”
Part 19 – “Keep Us From Evil”

“Amen and Amen!”

This may be the one word that crosses over many language lines.

Image result for amenIt is the same in Hebrew, Aramaic, and English. In the Greek New Testament, it is simply the Hebrew word using Greek letters.

In Hebrew, it is related to the word emunah, which means “faith,” “belief,” and “trust.” It is also related to the word emet, which means “truth.”

So what it means is: “This I affirm” or “Let it be so.”

In the Old Testament it is the word spoken by the people after the priest says the prayers. It is their way of saying, “What he said, I agree with and believe.”

We still do this today in our liturgy.

Throughout the Gospels, Jesus says “Verily” or “I tell you the truth” – depending on the translation you read. But the Greek New Testament uses the word “amen.”

So another way of looking at those passages is that Jesus was emphasizing His agreement with what was just said (either by Himself or someone else).

“Amen isn’t just the natural end of a prayer, it is a way of saying “I most certainly agree!” Whether we say it at the end of our own prayers, or use it to agree with prayers of others, may all our prayers reflect this wholehearted agreement with the words we have prayed, and our response of faith to God’s answers.


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